Green Leases and Sustainability

Restrictive covenants

An estimated 25% of the UK’s carbon footprint consists of the built environment. Accountability for the emissions does not solely lie with landlords/owners who develop land but also with occupiers/tenants who govern activities that occur within a commercial property.

In a bid to provide more long-term solutions for minimising the environmental impact of existing properties, green leases are a tool that can be used to assist both landlords and tenants with driving positive change and transforming the environmental impact of a property. A lease is a legally binding agreement which runs for the duration of a set term. As such, the provisions relating to sustainability within a green lease would also be binding for the length of the term, ensuring commitment from both landlord and tenant to make a positive environmental impact. As part of the green lease, both parties would share obligations in managing and improving the environmental performance of a property.

Although a green lease does not guarantee a sustainable property, it is a commitment from both parties to address the environmental impact of the property being occupied.

In order to provide further guidance on green leases and the drafting of clauses, the organisation Better Buildings Partnership have relaunched the ‘Green Lease Toolkit’ on their website, to enable owners and occupiers understand what is entailed in a green lease. They are a collaboration of leading property owners who work together to improve the sustainability of commercial properties.

Focusing on the sustainability aspects, the Toolkit offers suggestions on matters such EPCs, rent review, alterations and use of a property. The aim is to streamline the drafting process for commercial leases making it easier to align sustainability goals for both landlords and tenants, which previously would have been the sticking point in negotiations.

There are many benefits to green leases, increasing the sustainable impact of a property can attract investors, reduce utility costs from improved efficiency and improve market reputation.

Please get in touch with our Commercial Property Team if you would like further information about green leases and increasing sustainability of a property by calling 0161 330 6821 or emailing